The Trump tax bill: will it save the GOP in November?

(27 December 2017) With the first year of his presidency almost done, President Donald Trump finally scored a much-needed legislative win with the passage of his tax overhaul bill.   As Trump signed the bill into law last Friday, the GOP have turned their sights to next November's midterm elections.  Trump is betting on the tax cut to win back voters who have thus far been alienated from his tumultuous and divisive presidency.  

There is a lot riding on next year's midterms.  With Trump's approval ratings still below 40%, the Democrats are favored to win the House of Representatives and to have a decent chance of winning back the Senate.  If the GOP loses control of both Houses of Congress, the Trump agenda would effectively be neutralized until 2020.   Also, a Democrat-controlled Congress would very likely move toward impeachment of President Trump. 

So will Trump's tax cut achieve its desired ends and help the GOP hold onto Congress next year?  One perspective on this question is to examine the horoscope for the time that Trump signed it into law.  Using this "birth chart" for the tax bill, we can then see how the planets are aligned with this chart in November.  A favorable alignment of planets in November would suggest that the tax bill would boost GOP fortunes while negative alignments may project the more negative aspects of the bill and correspond with an electoral defeat.

Prelude: The Reagan Tax Cuts

Before we look at the charts, let's take a look at the most appropriate historical precedent for Trump's tax bill, namely, the famous Reagan tax bill from 1981.  This bill cut taxes and was widely credited for boosting economic activity in the 1980s.   However, it is not a clear-cut historical judgment since it is also increased the deficit and likely widened economic inequality.   President Reagan signed the bill on August 13, 1981.  Interestingly, the Republicans did poorly in the subsequent midterm elections in November 1982.   The economy was still struggling through a recession so the tax cut bill was not well received by voters. 

As we can see in the chart, this largely negative evaluation is evident in the transits on Election Day 1982.   On the plus side, transiting Jupiter (25 Libra) is just past its trine aspect with Mars (24 Gemini) which ordinarily is associated with positive action.   The Republicans did at least keep their Senate majority that year even if that was never really in question. 

But the most outstanding configuration is the Saturn-Pluto conjunction at 3 Libra which is exactly square to the Moon at 3 Capricorn.  This is an extremely difficult pattern which would more likely bring out the negative side of the natal horoscope of the 1981 tax bill.  This is especially true since the Moon represents the people or population as a whole.   The American people were not happy with the Reagan administration at this time as the GOP lost 25 House seats. 

But by the next presidential election in 1984, the economy had improved.   As a result, the Republicans boosted their standing in the House although the Democrats retained control and Reagan was re-elected in a landslide against Walter Mondale.    The GOP kept control of the Senate.  

And true to the logic of astrology, the horoscope of the 1981 tax cut was in much better shape in the fall of 1984.  Saturn (25 Libra) is in a more benign position here in the 2nd house and was not making any full strength aspects to any planet.  It is making a partial strength trine aspect with Mars but the trine is generally more positive than the square.  Jupiter is not prominent here although it is helping the 4th house of sentiment and satisfaction. 

Most noteworthy is that Rahu (North Lunar Node) creates a symmetrical grand trine with Venus (0 Virgo) and the Moon (3 Capricorn).  Also Rahu can be an unpredictable planet, it can be positive when it is associated with benefics, as is the case here with the Moon and Venus.   The Sun (21 Libra) forms a nice trine aspect to the 10th house cusp (22 Gemini) while Venus conjoins Neptune (28 Scorpio) and trines the Sun (27 Cancer). 

It's a much better chart for the 1984 election and should be seen as one reason at least why Reagan's economic agenda carried the day. 

The Trump tax bill and the 2018 midterms

The midterms will be held on November 6, 2018.  The resulting transit overlay chart suggests difficulty for Trump and the GOP.  To be sure, it is not all bad.  The conjunction of the Sun (20 Libra) to Jupiter (21 Libra) is quite positive.  And the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio in the 10th house is good for public profile.  But Jupiter isn't doing all that much actually especially when we consider the negatives.  The nodes, Rahu and Ketu are close to their respective 6th and 12th houses cusps.  This can be disruptive of intended goals and may not correspond with desired circumstances for the GOP.  Also we should note the near exact degreewise alignment of the nodes at 5 degrees with the Sun-Saturn conjunction at 6 degrees of Sagittarius in the natal chart.  While this is not a conventional Vedic aspect, it looks more negative than positive.  Uranus at 5 Aries is also not helpful.

And the other big problem here is that transiting Saturn (11 Sagittarius) will be almost exactly conjunct the equal 11th house cusp.  Certainly, Saturn rules the chart as a whole (since Aquarius is rising) so it's not all bad in its transits.  But the contact between Saturn and the 11th house of gains seems problematic.   Some astrologers may offer a more positive interpretation of this transit but I would not, especially given the weight of the other alignments in the chart. 

The bottom line to me is that the Trump tax bill is not likely to help the GOP much in the midterm elections.   Most current polls have them losing control of at least one chamber.   This tax bill chart suggests that those polls are more likely to be proven correct.   Whether they lose both the House and Senate is impossible to say from this chart alone.  

Weekly Market Forecast

Stock markets have held steady into this week after rallying in the lead-in to the passage of the Trump tax overhaul.   The Dow is still trading above 24,500 while India's Sensex is trading just below 34,000.  As expected, we did get some minor selling late last week.  Also Bitcoin rebounded more or less as predicted in last week's market forecast after the culmination of the last Mars transit to the Bitcoin horoscope on Dec 23rd.

Mercury has returned to direct motion now and will align with Jupiter and Rahu for the rest of this week.  One would think that should boost sentiment during this final week of 2017.   I would therefore be surprised if we got any big declines here and more upside is still possible.  As we head into January, we may see a rise in caution on Jan 1 and 2 given the Mars-Rahu square.  The proximity of Jupiter to Mars could offset some of the destabilizing effects of this pairing but risk is nonetheless elevated.  I am still keenly focused on the multi-planet alignment on January 8-9 for clues for future market direction.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.